by Ken Roseboro
A growing number of farmers are considering planting non-GMO corn and soybeans as well as organic grains. A combination of factors including low prices for corn and soybeans, higher GMO seed costs, premium prices for non-GMO and organic grains, and failing GMO traits may push more farmers to go non-GMO or even organic.
Non-GMO sales higher this year
“Our non-GMO seed sales are significantly higher than last year,” says Gilbert Hostetler, president of Illinois-based Prairie Hybrids.
“We are seeing a lot of demand for conventional corn,” says Mac Ehrhardt, president of Minnesota-based Albert Lea Seed. “We took more orders for conventional corn seed by the end of last November than we did all last year.”
Ehrhardt distinguishes between conventional and non-GMO corn. While neither has GMO traits, Ehrhardt says farmers are planting conventional corn to cut costs, while farmers grow non-GMO to earn a premium price and must take extra steps to do so.